Maui News

Maui Man was Among Those who Went Missing on 1962 Flight Toward Vietnam

By Wendy Osher
May 6, 2021, 11:05 AM HST
* Updated May 6, 11:06 AM
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PC: Wreaths Across America / Facebook

After 59 years, families of passengers aboard Flying Tiger Line Flight 739, will see the names of those who went missing included on a new monument dedicated to their sacrifices and heroism.

There were two Hawaiʻi men aboard the flight, including SP5 James Wong of Lahaina, Maui and SP5 Guy Kinnison of Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu. (A complete list of soldiers and flight crew aboard the craft is posted below).

According to event organizers, the flight was on a “top-secret mission” toward Vietnam, but disappeared on March 16, 1962. Onboard, were 93 United States Army soldiers and 11 civilian crew members. 

“Hawaiʻi was a refueling stop for the flight after leaving Travers Air Force Base in California,” said Sean Sullivan, a spokesperson with the nonprofit Wreaths Across America. “It stopped in Hawaiʻi for a few hours before heading off to Guam and then disappearing. We’re in desperate need of help finding connections to the local families so we can let them know this is happening and their family is being remembered.”

“Very little is known about what happened to the plane and its passengers, and due to the circumstance surrounding this mission, the names of those lost have not yet been added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.,” according to the nonprofit.


On May 15, the families and loved ones of these heroes will gather in Columbia Falls, Maine, to be present for the unveiling of the new monument dedicated to those aboard that fateful flight.


“This is the first time that many of these families have met one another to share their stories and experiences,” the nonprofit reports.

The commemorative event will take place at 5 a.m. HST (11 a.m. EST) on Saturday, May 15, 2021 and will be carried LIVE on the Wreaths Across America’s Official Facebook page and on Wreaths Across America Radio.

United States Military Personnel

  • SFC James Armes, Virginia
  • SP4 Robert Baggett, Burlington, North Carolina
  • Sgt Donald Aaron Barnes, Granite City, Illinois
  • SP5 Richard Bayse, Prince George, Virginia
  • SFC George Bliss, Ft. Jay, New York
  • Pvt Joseph Broome, Danville, Virginia
  • Sgt John H. Callahan, Hazelton, Pennsylvania
  • MSgt William F. Caseldine, Dover, Tennessee
  • Sgt Lucius D. Croft, Augusta, Georgia
  • SP5 Douglas Patrick Dickey, Alexandria, Louisiana
  • Pvt James Allen Edwards, Hanceville, Alabama
  • MSgt Howard Gallipeau Jr., Alerwood Manor, Washington
  • Sgt John L. Geiser, Granite, Maryland
  • Sgt Walter Glynn, Tacoma, Washington
  • Pfc Charles W. Griffith, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • SP4 Douglas A. Haaf, Syracuse, New York
  • Pvt Donald W. Henderson, Mount Auburn, Illinois
  • SFC Lindsay Kirby Hester, Fort Monroe, Virginia
  • Sgt Clinton M. Hoy, Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • MSgt William Reeves Jarvis, Glendale, Kentucky
  • Sgt James Woodrow Johnston, Clarksville, Tennessee
  • Sgt John J. Jones, Ogden, Utah
  • Sgt John Altman Karibo, Bellefontaine, Ohio
  • SP4 Charles Edward Kissee, Stockton, California
  • SP6 Adam Sablan Leddy, Guam
  • SP4 Franklin D. McClure, Dallas, Georgia
  • Sgt Steven Medwid, Alexandria, Virginia
  • Sgt Tom B. Morrison, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
  • Sgt Nicholas Nichols Jr, Seaside, California
  • Pvt Jack C Packard, Lodi, Wisconsin
  • Sgt Frank E. Pelkey, Farmington, ME
  • SFC James A. Powell, Fort Worth, Texas
  • SFC Hubert Lloyd Rice, Waynesville, Missouri
  • WO Edison L. Roberts, Tacoma, Washington
  • SP6 Leslie J. Roderick, Houston, Missouri
  • SFC Edmond Saenz, Lakeview Terrace, California
  • SSgt Leslie M. Salada, Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Pvt Andrew Alexander Sheard III, Radner, Pennsylvania
  • SP4 George M. Slocum, Westfield, New York
  • Sgt James C. Sorenson, Spanaway, Washington
  • SP4 James Henry Taylor, Olive Branch, Mississippi
  • MSgt John A. Thomas, Ridgeway, Ohio
  • MSgt Jack E. Tanum, Augusta, Georgia
  • SFC Wallace L. Walcott, Tacoma, Washington
  • SP4 Leonard J. Wedge, Millinocket, Maine
  • SFC Albert Francis Williams Jr, Tacoma, Washington
  • Pvt Homer Adams, Ukon, West Virginia
  • Pvt Billy Atkins, Black Mountain, North Carolina
  • Sgt Robert Bako, Elbridge, New York
  • Pfc Thomas W. Baxley, Thomasville, Georgia
  • MSgt Henry Francis “Hank” Biernacki, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Pvt James Dale Bowen, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • SFC John Joseph Burns, San Luis Obispo, California
  • Pvt Larry Dean Canon, Chino, California
  • SP5 Edward Donald P. Cox, Amarillo, Texas
  • MSgt Harold Lamonde Curry, Mangum, Oklahoma
  • Sgt Ernest T. Dixon, Jesup, Georgia
  • SP4 Lawrence A. Fox, Canestoga, New York
  • Sgt Clarence Ganance Jr., Rensselaer , New York
  • MSgt Robert R. Glassman, San Jose, California
  • SP5 Roy Edward Greenleaf, Bloomfield, New York
  • Pfc Sidney Lee Grissom, Newburgh, Missouri
  • SFC Melvin Lewis Hatt, Lansing, Michigan
  • Pvt Robert N. Henderson, San Francisco, California
  • SP5 Timothy F. Hopkins, Spokane, Washington
  • Pfc Samuel L. Hunter, Claflin, Kansas
  • Pvt John Charles “Corky” Jennings, Newell, West Virginia
  • Pvt John H. H. Jones, Columbus, Georgia
  • Sgt John Kanisky, Haren, Holland
  • SP5 Guy Wicks Kinnison, Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi
  • Sgt Jack E. Lattie, Grovetown, Georgia
  • Sgt Warren M. Lehmkuhl, Columbus, Georgia
  • Pvt Stanley W. McEntee, Detroit, Michigan
  • Sgt Billy W. Mick, Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • SFC Raymond E. Myers, Warren, Arizona
  • SP4 Roger L. Oliver, Victory, Wisconsin
  • SP4 Charles W. Pardonnet, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Pvt Lawrence R. Perkins, Chicago, Illinois
  • SFC Walter A. Reinhardt, Hammond, Indiana
  • MSgt Delbert Leonard Riggins, Boise, Idaho
  • SP5 Eddie Fred Robinson, Benton, Arkansas
  • SP4 Samuel Rogers Jr., Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • SP4 George E. Sager, (Bergton, Virginia)
  • SP4 Donald Sargent, (Ossipee, New Hampshire)
  • Sgt Efisio Simola Jr., (San Antonio, Texas)
  • SP5 Elmer L. “Buddy” Smith, (Louisiana, Missouri)
  • SP4 Fred W Talbot, (Salamanca, New York)
  • MSgt Peter Thamy, (Vallejo, California)
  • SP4 Clarence Earl Thompson, (Big Spring, Texas)
  • SSgt James Edward Twitty (Brooklyn, New York)
  • SFC Ross C. Walker (Pickens, Sourth Carolina)
  • SFC John Wendell (San Antonio, Texas – Family in AL)
  • SP5 James Wong (Lahaina, Maui, Hawaiʻi)

Flight Crew

  • Grady Reese Burt Jr., Navigator, Baldwin Park, California
  • Bobbie Jean Gazzaway, 2nd Officer, Fillmore, California
  • William T. Kennedy, Navigator, Braintree, California
  • Clayton E. McClellan, Flight Engineer, San Mateo, California
  • Hildegarde Muller, Stewardess, California
  • George Micheal Nau, Flight Engineer, Pacoima, California
  • Christel Diana Reiter, Stewardess, San Mateo, California
  • Gregory P. Thomas, Captain, Red Bank, New Jersey
  • Barbara Jean Wamsley, Senior Flight Attendant, Santa Barbara, California
  • Patricia Wassum, Stewardess, California
  • Robert J. Wish, 1st Officer, Hidden Hills, California
Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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